When you think of Mother Nature, you might think of all sorts of things. However, as a homeowner, one thing you should think about is the wrath of the weather. Weather can be immensely damaging, and it’s important that you recognize the sheer extent to which people can see, especially if they’re not prepared on how to mitigate the weather damage.
How impactful are weather events, anyway?
If you don’t live in an area that regularly has issues with natural disasters, you might not fully appreciate the extent to which weather events can destroy an area. In the past 10 years, the 10 most damaging extreme weather events in the United States have caused a combined $495 billion in damages — that’s nearly half a trillion dollars of damage. Here are those weather events.
- Hurricane Harvey: $131 Billion
- Hurricane Maria: $95 Billion
- Hurricane Sandy: $74 Billion
- Hurricane Irma: $52 billion
- 2020 Heat Wave: $32 Billion
- Hurricane Michael: $26 Billion
- 2018 Wildfires: $25 Billion
- Hurricane Florence: $25 Billion
- 2018 Wildfires: $19 Billion
- Hurricane Irene: $16 Billion
As you can see, most of these events are hurricanes, with the rest being heat-related problems. Because these are both huge problems often for opposite sides of the country, you shouldn’t assume that you’re safe just because you’re not prone to issues like flooding.
The most common weather-related damages
What is it that causes the most damage from the weather? All sorts of natural disasters can cause serious damage, so it’s misguided to think that you can just defend against one specific type of natural disaster to stay safe. Here are a few natural disasters and ways in which they can impact your home.
- Drought: Landscaping Damage, Forest Fires
- Lightning: Fire, Electrical Damage
- Water: Flood Damage, Damaged Infrastructure, Internal Flooding
- High Winds: Structural Damage, Foundational Damage, Fallen Trees
- Hail: Roof Damage, Window Damage
Of these, high winds may be the most potentially damaging. Winds amounted to 24% of homeowner’s insurance claims from 2006-2016. Plus, people file more claims in the Spring because of the high levels of wind.
Steps to take to mitigate weather damage
What can you do to keep your home safe from issues with the weather? If you’re looking to make sure everything stays up to date and has the best possible defense, there are many things you’ll want to run through. These ten steps will help you defend against all the most common reasons for weather-related damage.
- Sump Pump With a Backup Battery
- Windproofing With Added Roof and Window Upgrades
- Installing Hurricane Shutters
- Fire-Resistant Planting With Pebbles, Gravel, and Pavers
- Flood Prevention With Retrofitting and Waterproofing
- Home Maintenance, Including Clearing Gutters and Sealing Leaks
- Winterproofing With Proper Insulation in Crawl Spaces, Attics, and Basements
- HVAC System Service, Including Checking and Fixing Leaky Pipes
- Smoke Detector Testing and Maintenance
- Foundation Inspection, Including Repairing Cracks and Damage
Sure, this may seem a bit excessive, but when you look at the swaths of destruction that arise after natural disasters, it makes a lot of sense. Some of these, like cleaning your gutters and testing your smoke detectors, are things you can do on your own. Some of them, like foundation inspection, are things that you should instead leave mostly to the experts.
At the end of the day, it’s clear to see that weather can cause huge amounts of strife and terror. However, it’s totally possible for your home to last through many different types of weather as long as you’re willing to maintain it properly. Talk to a home repair expert to learn more about the issues that might arise with the weather, especially in your area, and how you might be able to stop it.
Here’s how you can prepare for weather damage to your home.